WISHFUL THINKING: Deputy Mayor Gavin Jones is hopeful the funding will be approved to take some of the pressure of the ratepayers. Photo: Laura Blackmore
WISHFUL THINKING: Deputy Mayor Gavin Jones is hopeful the funding will be approved to take some of the pressure of the ratepayers. Photo: Laura Blackmore

Council hopeful for $3M to help clean up storm damage

FOR the second time this year South Burnett Regional Council has submitted an application to the state government to cover the costs caused by a natural disaster.

In March, council was granted $1.2 million to fix up the roads after the region sustained a significant amount of damage due to heavy flooding.

Deputy mayor and roads and drainage portfolio holder Gavin Jones said during the June council meeting his team had now applied for additional funds.

“Council has submitted a funding submission for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority relating to the storm damageoccuring in February 2020 on our road network,” Cr Jones said.

“The submission contained approximately 70 roads affected with a cost estimate of $3 million.”

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Even though the damages occured earlier in the year, Cr Jones said he was no stranger to receiving critiscim about the lengthy process to obtain the grants.

“We get hammered when these sorts of incidents happen,” Cr Jones said.

“If our crews go out and fix up these roads up because they have been created by storm damage, we cannot make a claim to the state government.

“If we touch them in any way, shape or form, we automatically lose any sort of funding.

“Because we don’t react immediately, we get hammered in the press, in the community and on Facebook.

“We need the community to understand the process,” he said.

“If we didn’t apply for the funding, the costs would be on the ratepayers.”

Cr Jones said the invesment in a road tracking machine had drastically helped them in the submisson process.

“We spent $35000 on the RACAS data system,” he said.

“We have before and after images from this machine, which we can take to the state government to show them the condition of the roads.

“It’s been a worthwhile investment and the best money council has spent since I’ve been a part of it.”

South Burnett

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